FW16 - missing the mark?

There is a lot (not all) that I agree with in this article.

I am a relatively new owner of a FW13 AMD, which in my view is punching hard against competitors in the 14" ultrabook space. Battery life is better than most, performance is strong and portability is good. With all the added benefits of repairability and upgradability. This covers a massive potential market, and someone who is not an early adopter or tech geek can buy the laptop and just use it.

The FW16 is different. It is more complex, heavy, large, performance is middling for its size and IMHO is attracting early adopters, Linux users and tech hobbyists. It is not a laptop that an average Dell, Lenovo or HP user could/would easily switch to.

And all of this worries me for the future.

Framework is spread very thin. Support was overloaded on FW13 AMD ordering, BIOS updates take months, sometimes years. User impacting problems remain unaddressed for long periods of time. A sustainable, long use product is as much about software as hardware, and Framework IMHO need to think more about post-launch evolution of their products. Case in point is that FW16 launch has diverted attention from even the recently launched FW13 AMD (PD charging issues, Logofail, BSODs in Windows all still to be fixed).

I feel that FW would be better served focusing on a single platform (platform not CPU arch or generation), more targeted to mass market (like the 13 and a 16 equivalent) and driving quality and improvements on that, rather than stretching the boundaries to accommodate niche segments like the current FW16 (with modular GPU, switchable deck layout, LED side panels etc. etc.) .



Coming from the software/hardware world myself, I see how complex it can be and how dependent you are from others (Manufacturers for example, to get a bios update etc.).
But one thing I miss from almost all manufacturers, is transparency.
Other manufacturers have these issues too, but you don’t see it, as they hide these. And if there is something very critical happening, no one will know.

What we have here, is a 2nd generation AMDdevice (going from the FW13 to the FW16). Doing the FW13 AMD Board, I bet they learned a lot about it. So the mistakes they did there, will most probably not happen on the FW16.
With that, all the reviewers giving their story out, they saw what needs fixing and they did (or will in the near future based on urgency).
In the end, I know what I buy and because I’m a geek, I don’t mind spending some time troubleshooting it too if I have to.

The big advantage I see here is that the more people look at it, the better it will become. As simple as that. Same as OpenSource software - aka Linux OS. The entire Internet is literally running on it, and it is not ONE big company who created it. It is a open communicating community. And as long as FrameWork is willing to be open, transparent etc., I’m willing to pay the extra grand for their hardware. Especially because I can do with it, set it up etc. as I want to.

For all those reviews, I filtered out what was important. What I noticed is that most of the reviewers compared the Framework 16 with existing devices using the same CPU and eventually another GPU (but not the 7700S as FW16 does). But very few actually realized that this device may be available in years just with a different CPU/GPU etc…
FW16 is a total modular laptop, completely repairable. And that’s the main point. How much old hardware have I thrown away? Just because I could not upgrade and/or service it decently. I just threw away a AMD 4800U based laptop because there was no possibility to replace parts. Laptop was running, GPU part was dead. It is IMHO a crime that apple has started gluing everything together. The amount of electronic junk they cause every year is immense and with all the others who followed, the environmental impact is a disaster.

So my take is simple. I take myself a FW16 device, will probably take a FW13 for my daughter (as her 4800U just died), and probably the entire family will get one. And that, because I can service and upgrade these at will. It will be a higher Investment now, but in the long run (and I trust FrameWork enough to live a little longer :wink: ) it will cost way less.
Simple Boots theory: Boots theory - Wikipedia


I would also point out that we heard a lot of the same things about how the Framework 13 was a flawed product sacrificing performance and rigidity/“build quality” for repairability and upgradability when it first came out. 3 years later it’s frequently recommended by outlets because of improvements that have been made since that original model.

I preordered the Framework 13 (back when it was still just the Framework Laptop) and was completely satisfied from day 1. No issues of any kind. All of those things the reviewers were saying about performance and battery life and weak hinges were true but I had properly set my expectations. I was pretty convinced it was going to be my last laptop chassis and I would just buy upgrades until Framework stopped making them. I upgraded the hinge when the stiffer hinge came out and the speakers when the improved speakers were released.

Then they announced the FW 16 and I saw the raw potential of the input deck (something I feel has been glossed over by a lot of reviews but it might not be the number one selling point for all users). So I gifted my 13 to a family member and now I have an early batch preorder for the 16. I imagine all of the things the reviewers are saying will be true again (at least the outlets that didn’t get unlucky with their review units) but in 3 years most if not all of those concerns will have been addressed and these same reviewers will be recommending the 3rd generation of main board/discrete GPU combo to their readers.

tl;dr Set your expectations for this product correctly and it can be a wonderful experience. But this is still the first generation of a new product from a relatively young company and will not be perfect right away.


FWIW, I am new to FW. Preordered a FW16 and have a “new to me” 11th gen FW13. Currently writing a marketing paper on FW. It has to be a digital marketing strategy… Anyway, I am writing this post on a Lenovo that I have had for 10 years… “According to a study, in 2022, Lenovo was number one for brand loyalty and customer engagement (Miller & Washington, 2024.) Another way to put it, keeping customers and having them buy your product again. Again, a decade of Lenovo ownership for me.” - From my paper.
Yes, it is an actual 10 years of ownership.

I would say that I am not the current target audience for the Framework laptop. I am the target audience after. Why? Look at their tweet from 2023. I have seen some LTT videos as well as some from Louis (need to subscribe to these guys), but I wasn’t the guy to be like, this is the ram you need based on your OS and board, running xyz etc. etc.

I have always liked fixing things myself, have some tech experience etc. Still ended up with a FW and happy to support the company. I could actually go on for a long time LOL, but just my two cents.

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I think the 16" should have been developed in conjunction with “the community” - or at least customers of the 13". Their downfall seems to have been the desire to be be Apple, and present it as “one more thing” after the 13" motherboards IIRC. Producing such a complex product fully formed - stacked with groundbreaking features - is one thing if you are the biggest computer business in the world with thousands of minions sweating every detail, harder for a smaller startup.

As it stands, many of us probably have our own head-scratchers where we wonder why they did something one way, or more frustratingly, why they did not take a particular concept to its obvious conclusion. My bugaboo is the latter: the input deck is not given sufficient headroom to accommodate discrete keyboard switches. This has kneecapped those who might otherwise handbuild staggered column and other novel keyboard formats, and would have taken advantage of the swappable input deck and programmable firmware to offer more than the sum of these could individually.

I’m sure many of our niggles could have been addressed with a more collaborative design process where the concept was released for purposes of getting opinions, before the design was cast. In my previous example, Framework is now squeezed between scrappy upstarts like Reform, and corporate giants like Dell’s Alienware brand, both of which do boast mechanical keyboards, with a chassis that only accommodates membrane units.

The 16 seems a bit of a “Homer” to me.

Literally disagreed with pretty much every premise of his argument, he particularly lost me when he mentioned dave2d whose reviews might as well be “let me compare this to a Mac whatever” while missing the entire point of the Framework line. They simply are not competing with any of these options. Framework is uniquely Framework. OMG it does not have the most powerful GPU right now…but it will have a better one next year, the year after that, the year after that, the year after that…same with the cpu, the peripherals etc. You the user choose when you decide to buy up based on your needs. This is not a gaming laptop, it is a general purpose mobile workstation. Frameworks are generalists and every reviewer that does not get that completely misses the mark. Potential, you are paying extra for potential. If you don’t get that, well guess what, the Framework 16 was not designed with you in mind and that’s just fine.


I disagreed with just about everything he said in that article. The whole Homer Simpson part was particularly ridiculous. From what I know of the framework 16, the design is well thought out and makes for vast customization, exactly what I want. Complaining about the bulk that the dGPU adds when it can easily be removed is a waste of my time as a reader. Essentially, many of the complaints are a non-issue. Complaining about lockups/crashes is also blown out of proportion. It’s a software issue one reviewer encountered that can be fixed.

Many of the reviews I have seen (this one included) breeze past the most innovative and important parts of this laptop, customization/repairability. These reviewers are simply out of their depth and reviewing a product they don’t understand or want. Like the guy comparing it to a MacBook, utterly absurd.

People have to keep in mind that controversial reviews bring in vastly more revenue for the reviewer than the highly positive reviews, as well as contributing to the echo chamber by just vomiting up all the same things earlier, more popular “influencers” have already said. The reader has a hard task in keeping an open mind.


Well said! I wish I could post this as a banner across all of the review threads here. I think the other important thing is how Framework is addressing all of the echo chamber negatives. What other company does that?

Me personally, I don’t really need the FW 16, BUT I see it as a mobile desktop replacement. I am a desktop PC user. I pride myself on having the beefiest or near the beefiest system I can. What I have seen being on this bleeding edge is that it is mostly hype. Sure I get slightly better settings and more framerates. I also generate WAY more heat and use a lot more power. Not real concerns to me but just mentioned as evidence that everything has a trade off.

However, I have been loyal to using EVGA GPUs. We see what happened there. They have flopped and I am out looking for another manufacturer. What Framework does is solve this issue, and it is a minor one really, but an issue. They are the provider of the tech. We have 3 generation of upgrades on the 13 as evidence of their commitment. With Framework you have a one stop shop that hopefully bleeds into other companies offering expansion upgrades.

But I do not have a single component in my desktop that is made by a company as transparent and dedicated as Framework. Why is this important?

Well I have a ASUS made mainboard in my desktop. It has secure boot and TPM2. Asus is just another mega company with no real talk about trust in manufacturing etc. Framework on the other hand tries to support the open source world as much as it can. It works really hard to support Linux which is supportless in most other places for desktop purposes. My assurances that the TPM in the Framework laptop will play nice and is good is much higher than on an ASUS or Gigabyte mainboard, even if those systems all work. Because it is the mindset behind the manufacturing that really matters!

Framework is not trying to manufacturer a product that falls apart in 2 years. They want them all to last.

To me this is the mark. A computer made by people who truly love computers and want to see them continue to advance without being sidelined by supply shortages and wanton abuse of resources. To me the Framework 16 is nothing but an amazing achievement. I can’t wait to get mine.


I would warn against playing the “fake news” card against mixed reviews so far. The small number I have read make plain that the reviewer want the product to succeed. By attacking the professionalism of the reviewers, effectively shooting the messenger, it is us who risk falling into a so-called echo chamber.

The 16" was always going to be the equivalent of that difficult second album, a firm still finding its feet trying to recapture the success of their breakout hit. I reiterate IMO their mistake was missing the opportunity to design it with more involvement of customers and other hangers-on like myself. I reiterate previous point that they ought to have presented us with some prototypes and concept before the design was nailed down. I’m sure many others felt like me that they had something to add and are disappointed their own input could not have been aired before the design was presented as a fait-accomplait.


I thought hard before writing the original post, as I knew there would be a lot of passionate Framework supporters (and, believe it or not, I am one!). However, my reason to post was not to create yet another “WDYT of the FW16 reviews” thread, but rather to gather thoughts on Framework’s approach to becoming a financially sustainable business through scaling. And to hopefully help @nrp and team as they lead their business forward.

Essentially, FW has TWO objectives:

  • Deliver their mission to improve the world by creating long life, maintainable and upgradable products that reduce e-waste
  • Fulfil their obligation to create a return for their shareholders/investors

On their website they say:

The conventional wisdom in the industry is that making products repairable makes them thicker, heavier, uglier, less robust, and more expensive. We’re here to prove that wrong and fix consumer electronics, one category at a time. Our philosophy is that by making well-considered design tradeoffs and trusting customers and repair shops with the access and information they need, we can make fantastic devices that are still easy to repair. Even better, what we’ve done to enable repair also opens up upgradeability and customization. This lets you get exactly the product you need and extends usable lifetime too

So, a couple of important points:

  • “We will prove wrong the assumption that repairable products are thicker, heavier etc.”
  • “You get exactly the product you need (that) extends usable lifetime too”

I think this is spot on. I too subscribe to the assumption that FW will only ship significant volume by creating product which is both “as good” as the laptops out there today AND repairable/well maintained in software. And FW will only deliver on the company objectives above (e-waste and financial) in a meaningful way if they succeed in penetrating the existing mass market.

However, whether we like it or not as enthusiasts, the mass market has pre-set expectations/must-have requirements on size, power, battery life, aesthetics etc. And reviewers are (mostly) assessing against this set of expectations because it is the expectation set of their audience (and, yes, that is also how they make money).

So now, let’s evaluate FW13/16 in this way:

  • FW13 - broadly meets mass market expectations in terms of functionality and price as evidenced in positive reviews (from the same reviewers who critique FW16, and an increasing body of existing users). Hardware upgradability successfully demonstrated by FW over last couple of years. Software/firmware sustainability and support not yet delivered as evidenced by threads on this forum ref: outstanding issues (BSODs, PD bugs, security vulnerabilities and extremely long lead times for resolution e.g. 12th gen BIOS updates)
  • FW16 - early days, but likely does not meet mass market expectations in terms of functionality, form and price. Receiving warm reception from enthusiasts (Linux users, gaming users, hobbyists/makers, those who will accept significant compromise for the environment etc.).

On top of that, FW16’s new hardware platform dilutes management attention, investment dollars and very limited (and valuable) FW team expertise, when the first product (FW13) is still not at a sustainable stage of its life. This might have been a decision worth the risk IF the market potential for FW16 was huge. But my suspicion is that it is not.

Again, I am a Framework supporter. I have bought their product and want it to succeed. But IMHO the company is at a delicate point in their life, and I hope that the FW16 doesn’t turn out to be a misstep, when a “bigger FW13” built on practically the same HW platform (think auto industry) would have been a much better fit against mark - the mass market.


I’m not calling it fake news at all. Rather their motives are possibly bought. This doesn’t mean that problems that are brought up are wrong, and furthermore, are still important.

But I think people need to understand how tech journalism works today. How absolutely difficult it is to survive and pay the bills. I don’t really begrudge them, but it is a reality that the reader should be aware of.

I would disagree. Their AMD line maybe, but it is still the first generation there. There are issues on the Intel side as well, but I mean I’ve been using a Framework laptop from the beginning and outside of the standby battery drain have had zero issues with the device. I am blown away at just how stable the platform is as a whole especially when NOT in the Framework chassis is.

I understand your concern, but I think Framework is also about a movement or changing the industry. You don’t do that by sticking to one product. The FW 16 does things the 13 can’t do and this expands the utility of the company’s product and thus their customer base. The more success Framework has, the more their ability to change or motivate a change in the industry can be realized.


From experience, the more people you put on a project, and the more complex this project becomes as everyone will want to add his own “special”. So no,I think there needs to be a solid/sole decision maker taking the decisions and direction to go. Some who is also a geek, technology aware and recognizes if something can work or won’t.

Let’s just hope the current CEO remains the CEO for a long time. Because as soon as other’s take over (CEO’s who went to university to learn how to become CEO, maximize their package when the company they just led 2 years crashes), the context, the idea etc. will be “adapted” or “redirected” vs. higher return of investment. And then it is usually the end of the initial bright idea.


From what I’m seeing/hearing so far the FW16 is a fantastic new product that creates a new category (together with the FW13). The fact that people are comparing Framework (a company that just emerged yesterday) with Apple (one of the largest companies on the planet) is a testament to how amazing Framework is doing. Its essentially a start-up, and the level of transparency and tech love they’re showcasing really makes me a fan.
Those of us that have the means can play a big role here by being early adopters and carrying Framework into everyones future. I have two FW13’s (gen 12 & 13) and a Batch4 FW16 on order. And I’m sure I’ll buy whatever product they launch next. My nerdy way of making the world a better place. :grin:


The purported mission of FW is to provide the last computer you will ever need, and you can selectively upgrade it from then on out. For customers like yourself to buy every product they produce (and more than one on occasion) is surely more an admission of failure rather than success?

The best way to make the world a better place is to surely keep alive what you have as long as you can? Even if it’s not a framework to start with.

Surprised to see the article mention the MacBook Air in the “fairly upgradeable and repairable” laptops category. Last I knew of them they were a nightmare that you had to take to Apple to repair, which is not exactly cheap nor accessible.
Read the article too fast and while I was too tired, it’s not saying that. Apologies!

I get the point of the article, but I don’t know that I fully agree. I haven’t seen any mention of something that would make me skip it over as an option if I were in the market for a midrange laptop. If you’re not looking for a gaming laptop, then don’t get the GPU module. The attention the FW team put into the cooling system makes it so much better than the other available laptops, and you get modularity and repairability. If you absolutely need great speakers, get external speakers. Most laptop keyboards are already not great, so getting an external keyboard makes sense. FW offers a bunch of layouts, which other laptop manufacturers do not. I like the default ASCII layout, it’s a problem when buying outside the USA. The size of the laptop is a bit problematic while searching for a bag, I will agree with that. But if you don’t use the GPU module, there’s a lot of availability. And putting the fault of that on FW seems unfair. Not their fault backpack companies exclusively focus on Apple products. Chasing after Apple’s customers is a guaranteed failure; people who want Apple already buy them. You won’t get them to buy your product by offering the same thing.

I’ve said this elsewhere on the forum, but on a personal level, I’m fine with paying for my FW16 even if it has some flaws just for the sake of putting my money where my mouth is. It offers something that no one else does, and in a market where we’re losing choices as consumers, what they offer is very attractive to me. Pretending like the other laptops on the market don’t also have major flaws is silly. And to be honest, their flaws are way more deal breakers than the FW16’s possible flaws (I say possible as a lot of review units had issues which we know have either been fixed or are being looked into before they get to us). If anything the rush to get the reviews out with known issues is the biggest mistake. But again, (most) reviewers didn’t bother to check in with FW to see if they were known and fixed.

I can’t speak to how spread thin they are. I hope they’re succeeding in balancing being a company and their employee’s well-being. In line with bucking the consumerist trend of throwaway tech, I’m fine with waiting for things and not demanding super speedy responses to everything right away. Obviously if you’re depending on this device as being your daily driver and there’s issues which make that not possible, you will find it very frustrating. But I am aware of that and I always keep 1 or 2 fail-safes so I can still work and communicate if anything happens to my main devices.

I keep bringing up my personal situation, and I do realize that’s not helpful for a product that is intended for the mass market. But that’s kind of the thing with Framework. At the point where they are at, they’re very much enthusiast/niche devices. They do not operate like Asus or Lenovo or Dell or whatever other company you can think of, producing a massive amount of devices which might never sell if their estimated demand doesn’t materialize. The FW16 is being produced based on the demand that their product is getting (plus extra for repairs), so the balance of costs is very different for them as a company. And their customers are likely to stay loyal due to access to repair parts and support.

I would love to eventually live in a world where I’m comfortable getting a FW laptop for someone like my mom who is a capable computer user but not advanced enough to troubleshoot complex issues. The reality is it’s currently not quite there, but they are aiming to get there. I’m ok with taking a risk for now and seeing where they can get.


Considering I have a 5 person household, I’m not at the one-laptop-per-person-for-the-rest -of-your-life stage. Also, don’t forget Framework as a company is in the bootup fase. Without a solid/loyal customer base they won’t survive.


Soldered on ssd, fits perfectly right XD


Sorry you are completely missing the point. This is not targeted at any of those users, they just happen to be who is going to be an early adopter. No the FW16 is squarely targeted at business users and Enterprise. Businesses in general are moving toward a one device per person model, and this was accelerated by the pandemic. Along with recent studies suggesting that the ideal replacement rate is once every 5 years…imagine the actual target audience being stuck on the same hardware for 5 years. The FW16 is a market disruptor, combined with their direct to Business sales, the only thing Framework is missing is a robust warranty stack i.e. warranty and tech support you can pay for, don’t be surprised if that changes over the next year or two.

You also mentioned shareholder/investor ROI. Well guess what this is exactly how you go about getting more investors i.e. additional funding. You can’t focus on one thing, you will get passed by, in this case by your much bigger, better funded potential competitors. No one else is actually competiting in the space Framework is currently occupying, and it would take years for them to do so effectively because the bigger you are the less agile you are…that being said Framework has maybe a 5 year window to really kill it and grow to a point where they have solidified a place at the table. Their leadership is clearly capable and doing exactly what is needed to survive and thrive.


Um - I think we are violently agreeing! FW16 should be targeted to major segments such as corporate. My view is that the FW16 does not meet the minimum bar which they would expect which is “as good as the alternatives” when it comes to form, function and price. So, FW16 is attracting a positive reaction mostly from enthusiasts who adopt early.

And I agree here too! I am saying that HOW and WHEN Framework diversifies its products matters. An alternative approach could have been to create a 16inch version of the FW13. As it stands, there are a lot of additional things added (GPU modularity, deck modularity, new MB footprint etc.) which make it a different platform.

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